Brooklyn outfit Dirty Fences’ debut full-length, Too High To Kross, is an unabashed throwback to ’70s punk rock. Aping straight from The Stooges and Ramones, Dirty Fences fly along on fuzzy riffs and fast drums, making Too High To Kross a relentless albeit monotonous 30-minute LP.
The band recorded the instrumentation live, which is a major benefit here. Capturing the energy of a live performance is key for a band like Dirty Fences. It would be easy to try and polish everything, but the outfit’s power is best left unleashed. Tracks like Kilsythe and White Lies display their strong riffs and harmonies. The vocals carry the same sweaty distortion as the instruments with an Eagles of Death Metal/Iggy Pop swagger.
As the album wears on, the sweat starts to offend. There are moments where the bass could be turned down to add more clarity (“Always on my Mind”, ”Meet Me at the Door”) and ideas begin to recycle towards the end (Rose in a Vice). It’s a shame because, on the whole, Dirty Fences’ grimy punk revival feels like a breath of fresh air in a foggy genre. In fact, give ’em time and they might wind up as neighbors to the likes of FIDLAR — right now, they’re on a different coast (literally and metaphorically).
Albeit short, Too High To Kross lacks the variation to keep this circulating. It’s more or less an OK EP, with the first four or five songs proving suitable enough of a mission statement. Read ’em and sweep.
Essential Tracks: “Kilsythe”, “White Lies”